A couple of recent studies seem to confirm what many fear: text abbreviations cause poor grammar and writing skills in tweens and teens.

Are we on the verge of a new Dark Age? Will the Internet render us incapable of language? Well, not so fast. There’s evidence that textspeak is actually beneficial to language, and that the fears are overblown.

Linguist Daniel Midgley hoses down the panic on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Show notes

First article: Professor says teens’ social media lingo hurts writing skills

Second one: No lol matter: Tween texting may lead to poor grammar skills

Link to the paper:

Moral panic from Schlegel: “A nation whose language becomes rude and barbarous must be on the brink of barbarism in regard to everything else.”

Language Log has been all over this:

In other research, texting doesn’t hurt grammar.
2006: http://stephenslighthouse.com/2006/08/04/texting-doesnt-hurt-grammar-study/
2009: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2341776,00.asp